Many products powered by Intel Apollo Lake processors have already been announced, but few are actually shipping, and I have yet to get one here. However, AndroidPC.es got hold of ASRock J4205-ITX and J3455-ITX motherboards powered by respectively a Pentium J4205 quad core processor and a Celeron J3455 quad core processor, run a few benchmarks, and tested videos in Windows 10 on the motherboards with Kodi 17 and MPC-HC.
Let’s have a look at some of the benchmarks to better understand of what we can expect from Apollo Lake desktop processors.
First there’s not that much of a difference between Celeron J3455 (1,771 points) and Pentium 4205 (1,830 points) in PCMark Home Convetional benchmark, however you should clearly feel a boost in performance compared to systems with Intel Cherry Trail x5-Z8300 processor (1,141), and the score is getting fairly close to a mini PC with an Intel Core i3-5005U dual core / four thread processor (15 Watt TDP).
If we look at 3D graphics performance, there are even more contrasts between various machines / processors. There’s a really big leap between MINIX NEO Z83-4 with x5-Z8300 processor and both Apollo Lake motherboards (150 to 165% better 3D performance), but on the other hand there’s a noticeable gap (almost 50%) between Intel HD 5500 graphics found in Core-i3 processors and Intel HD 500/505 graphics used in J3455 and J4205 processors.
AndroidPC guys also ran other benchmarks such as Cinebench, games fps, and so on, and I invite you to read their review (in Spanish) if you want to find out more. However, since there was some confusion about 10-bit HEVC and VP9 support, it’s interesting to also check out the video test results.
|1080p “standard”||MPC-HC||KODI 17|
|MPEG2 / MP2 2.0 – 6.6Mbps||OK||OK|
|MPEG4 / MP3 2.0 – 7.6Mbps||OK||OK|
|H264 / AAC 2.0 – 7.2Mbps||OK||OK|
|VC1 / WMA3 2.0 – 8.6Mbps||OK||OK|
|VP8 / VORBIS 2.0 – 7.8Mbs||OK||OK|
|1080p – Higher bitrate|
|Birds – H264 / No audio – 40Mbps||OK||OK|
|Samsung Oceanic Life – H264 – AC3 2.0 – 40Mbps||OK||OK|
|Skyfall – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 10Mbps||OK||OK|
|Timelapse – H264 / AAC 2.0 – 43Mbps||OK||OK|
|Tears of steel – HEVC 8bit / AAC 2.0 – [email protected] – 17Mbps||OK||OK|
|Beauty – H265 – HEVC 8bit / No audio – [email protected] (recorded @ 120 fps) – 12Mbps||Skipped frames||OK|
|Samsung UHD Dubai – HEVC 10bit / AAC 2.0 – [email protected] – 51Mbps||Skipped frames||OK|
|Google test – VP9 Youtube||OK||OK|
So all videos can play in Kodi 17 even 4K 10-bit H.265 videos and VP9 videos, however MPC-HC appears to have issues with some H.265 videos. Both ASRock motherboards support HDMI 2.0 with up to 4K @ 60 fps, but none of the 4K H.265 videos had a framerate over 30 fps, so this would have to be tested. HDMI audio pass-through was not so great, as it only worked for Dolby Digital 5.1, not but TrueHD or DTS HD, possibly because the boards are equipped with a DisplayPort to HDMI 2.0 converter which could introduce issues.
There are some Linux benchmarks (Phoronix) for ASRock J4205-ITX board, but currently limited to C-Ray.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.